The lure of the taken man [Part 1]

couple-sunsetWomen are always complaining that all the good men are taken … or gay. And men are always complaining that girls always go for the bad boys. Apparently, guys are far less attractive when they are young and single and ready to mingle.

The lure of the bad boy, as I have said over and over and over, is basic. We want to tame him. To turn him into a good guy. To put him on a leash. To be the one girl powerful enough to crush this Samson and use his hair to make a purse strap. It’s a power thing, plain and simple.

The attraction of the spoken-for man is a little more complicated than that. And no, I don’t believe for one second that it’s ‘the lure of the unattainable’. That myth has about as much credence as the man on the moon. Humans do NOT want something just because they can’t have it. If that was the case, we’d all be wearing artificial tails.

First, and let’s get this right from the onset, there are two kinds of going-for-the-unavailable-man girls. One is the Power Princess. She gets her kicks from well, power. This is the character in that stupid Carmen movie with Beyonce in the red dress.

This is the girl who takes a man simply because she can. She may not particularly want him, or even like him. She just wants to prove she can do it. The girl walks into a club, bar or office, sees a man with another girl, and makes sure she catches his eye. She may not do any more than that, many of them are content just to know they can get the man’s attention. “After all, this man is happy with his girl, yet he’s still looking at me. That makes me hot.”

The second kind of girl usually has no bad intentions, she just can’t help falling for other people’s men! Now first, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with liking another girl’s guy. The nasty is taking another girl’s man. Or worse, trying to share him. Rule of thumb: a man who leaves another girl for you is equally likely to leave you for another girl. Call it kharma, call it new dogs and old tricks, call it whatever you want, but I call it asking for trouble.

So. What makes the unavailable man so attractive? Simple. He says and does stuff that minglers  don’t do. Why? Because he isn’t a mingler! Duh!

Think about it. At what point did you start to find him attractive? Was it when he – sincerely – asked your advice about a gift for his wife, child or girlfriend? Was it when you saw his face glowing as he received a phone call from the woman in his life? Was it when you noticed how sweet and awkward he looked as he nervously figured out how to approach the girl? Or how his excitement peaked as he reminisced about it?

When a guy has a girl, some of his traits are exposed to the other women in his life. We see his protective instinct as he watches some playboy staring at his wife or daughter. We see his nurturing side as he studies a Bratz doll in the supermarket, and asks you, cluelessly, if his teenage daughter would like one. We see his responsible side as he leaves the after-party early coz he needs to go check on the kids homework. And best of all, you see the teddy-bear in him as he plays with his kids.

All these are things we don’t see in available guys. Not because these things aren’t there, but because they’re not programmed to show them. They’re busy trying to get with you; they can’t show you what you’ll have once they get you.

Plus, these things look totally different on a mingler. A father looking at a teddy bear is sensitive; a mingler looking at a teddy bear is gay. A married guy leaving a party early is responsible; a mingler leaving a party early is a bore. A married guy that cooks is considerate. A mingler that cooks desperately needs to get some. A married guy saying his wife gives him pleasured goosebumps is adorable. A mingler admitting any woman makes him speechless is a wuss.  See?

UpdateThe lure of the taken man [Part 2]

Photo credit: omar_franc

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Crystal Ading' is a professional author, editor, rock lover and mother. Her work is available through